Patients, visitors and staff have another way to grow relationships and exercise their green fingers thanks to new community planter boxes installed in the courtyard of Wellington Regional Hospital this week.
Planted by local urban farm and composting organisation Kaicycle, and built by community group Menzshed, the planter boxes are aimed at fostering a sense of community – while providing fresh produce for staff, patients and visitors.
“Fresh vegetables play a really important role in healthy eating, which is a key part of making healthier choices and living healthier lifestyles,” said Capital & Coast DHB senior advisor - sustainability Jay Hadfield.
“By growing organic produce here we give patients, visitors, and staff access to vegetables and herbs with reduced food miles – and hope to whet people’s appetites for growing more fresh produce at home.”
The planter boxes will be maintained by a team of volunteer gardeners from across the hospital – as well as green-fingered patients and staff – with support from Kaicycle.
“We’ve planted vegetables such as tomatoes and zucchinis, as well as herbs and beneficial flowers, and hope everyone will enjoy watching them grow, harvesting and eating them,” said Kaicycle coordinator Kate Walmsley.
“It’s an uplifting activity that gives people a chance to take a break from their usual routine, get outside, and meet people you might not otherwise. It offers social, mental health and physical benefits and the opportunity to learn something new.”Kaicycle is also keen to welcome people to its urban farm on Hospital Road – a great spot for hospital staff, patients and visitors to spend time together as neighbours and part of the same community.